As soon as details came to light about the mental health status of alleged Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Lewis Dear, pro-life advocates defending themselves against false accusations that Dear somehow was a pro-life activist motivated by videos Planned Parenthood selling aborted baby parts knew that the truth was far different. They understood that Dear is no more than a mentally troubled human being with a long criminal record who friends and family described as an incoherent rambler.
Today’s antics in court prove that to be true.
As his own attorneys questioned his mental competence, Dear told a court Wednesday he wants to fire his public defender and represent himself.
“I do not want them as my lawyers. I invoke my constitutional right to defend myself,” Dear said Wednesday.
As Judge Gilbert Martinez attempted to settle the defendant down, Dear shot back, “How can I trust my attorney when he says I’m incompetent in the newspaper?”
Dear also didn’t mince words when it came to his attorney, Daniel King, who represented the Aurora theater shooter.
“Do you know who this lawyer is?” Dear yelled. “He’s the lawyer for the Batman shooter. Who drugged him all up. And he wants to do that to me.”
“I do not want them as my lawyers,” Dear said.
The request prompted 4th Judicial District Judge Gilbert Martinez to clear the courtroom so the lawyers and judge could discuss the attorney-client conflict.
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The court was closed for about 10 minutes. It reopened at about 2 p.m., but there is no word on the judge’s ruling.
At a Dec. 9 hearing, his attorney questioned Dear’s mental health and whether he was competent to stand trial.
On Wednesday, Dear said it was King’s questions of his competency that prompted him to request a new lawyer.
Ke’Arre Stewart, Jennifer Markovsky and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs police officer Garrett Swasey died in the attack. Nine others were wounded.
Dear, 57-years-old and residing in the mountains of Colorado, was arrested at the scene in connection with the violent shooting that claimed the lives of three people, including one police officer and injured 9 others, including multiple officers. Dear reportedly mentioned “baby body parts” when arrested at the scene of the crime, but he has no connections with the pro-life movement and has a long criminal record and is described by those who know him best as someone with clear mental health issues.
Previously prosecutors harged Dear with three charges of first-degree murder and other additional charges. He could get life in prison or be put to death if convicted. But, during the court hearing, Dear shouted and interrupted the proceedings:
“I am guilty there will be no trial. I am a warrior for the babies,” he said in an outburst in El Paso County court overheard by CBS4 reporter Rick Sallinger.
“It’s my life,” Dear blurted out at another point.
The outburst came as lawyers were starting to discuss a motion to allow a camera in the courtroom. The hearing on Wednesday was scheduled to be a formal filing of charges against Dear.
Prosecutors announced in the hearing that they will be filing 179 counts against Dear, including murder.
The three people who were killed in the attack were Ke’Arre Stewart, Jennifer Markovsky and Garrett Swasey. Swasey was a campus police officer for the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs.
“You’ll never know what I saw in that clinic. Atrocities. The babies. That’s what they want to seal,” he said, according to AP, claiming the public defender’s office wants to hide the truth.
“You’ll never know the amount of blood I saw in that place,” he added, according to reports.
During the hearing, Dear sat at the table with Dan King, a public defender who represented James Holmes in the Aurora theater shooting trial. Dear was dressed in a blue prison-issue jumpsuit and was seen rocking back and forth during the hearing as officials took care of business. He reportedly started straight ahead and said nothing until the outburst.
Dear appears to have no association with the pro-life movement and those who know him say he is an awkward man who never discussed religion or abortion. The profile they paint is far from a caricature of a pro-life activist who has an issue with the Planned Parenthood abortion business and more of a loner or renegade who may have mental health issue and, at a minimum, is a bit “off.”
Since the shooting, a massive debate has ensued over any bearing it may have on the abortion debate.
Less than 24 hours after the shooting, the CEO of the abortion company, Cecile Richards, issued a fundraising email essentially blaming pro-life people for the shooting, saying the “feed domestic terrorism.”
Planned Parenthood officials have confirmed none of the people killed in the shooting or 9 victims who were injured were Planned Parenthood abortion clinic staff or patients and authorities have released no motive for the shooter as to whether or not he actually targeted Planned Parenthood. And, according to the Associated Press, all of the shooting took place outside of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, not in it.
As LifeNews reported, the police officer killed during Friday’s shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood is pro-life and a co-pastor at his local church. Garrett Swasey, 44, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs police officer who was shot and killed while responding to the shooting and was described by his fellow church members and friends as a courageous man and loving father who drew strength and inspiration from his Christian faith.
Family members and friends identified the other two victims as 29-year-old Ke’Arre Stewart and Jennifer Markovsky, 35. Both accompanied friends to the Planned Parenthood on Friday.
Multiple pro-life groups quickly condemned the shooting while pro-abortion presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent a tweet exploiting the active shooting before the shooter was apprehended or a motive known to push for support for the abortion business and then went on to say pro-life people should “defend Planned Parenthood, not attack it.” And President Obama exploiting the shooting to demand pro-life people stop “demonizing” Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains issued a statement responding to the shooting, saying it doesn’t know if Planned Parenthood was the target of the attack.
“We don’t yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action, and we don’t yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack,” Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains President Vicki Cowart said in a statement.
Cowart was accused of pushing abortion at the memorial for the shooting victims and one woman walked out after she politicized the event.